A new $99 lock which is controlled using an iPhone app has been launched by Silicon Valley start-up Lockitron.
The company has announced the release of the Bolt lock, which uses Bluetooth to communicate with iOS or Android devices. Users who download an app to their Pebble watch, Android Wear or Google Glass will also be able to lock and unlock their home without the use of a key.
Unlocking your home with iPhone: More affordable product
Lockitron previously produced an electric lock for almost twice the cost, and the company struggled to scale-up manufacturing. This time around they have significantly cut costs by simplifying components, and supply issues are thought to have been solved.
Company CEO Cameron Robertson told Kyle Russell of TechCrunch that setting up the product can be done “in 20 tiny, doable steps.” The company promises a set-up time of 20 minutes, but some users have reported that it has taken them nearer an hour.
Customers will also be able to buy an additional unit which connects to your home router and allows you to communicate with the Bolt over WiFi. This would allow you to let visitors enter your house with your iPhone even if you find yourself stuck in the office, for example.
Vast improvement from previous attempt
Lockitron’s first attempt at an iPhone-controlled lock struggled with reliability and supply issues. The new version is “smaller, more elegant and more robust than the crowdfunded Lockitron,” read a blog post from the company.
The iPhone-operated lock will be manufactured in a different facility which has proven that it can produce “tens of thousands of units per year.”
Other people can access a particular lock if the owner grants them access via email or SMS, meaning that selected friends and family can enter your home using their iPhone or other smart device. Another planned feature of the app is the ability to grant access to other people for specific time periods, useful for letting the cleaner in without them needing to bother you at all.